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Research Tree provides access to ongoing research coverage, media content and regulatory news on ASTRAZENECA PLC. We currently have 18 research reports from 3 professional analysts.

Market Cap
52 Week
Date Source Announcement
17Mar17 07:00 RNS US FDA issues CRL for ZS-9 in hyperkalaemia
16Mar17 11:00 RNS Notice of AGM
08Mar17 07:00 RNS Filing of Form 20-F with SEC
07Mar17 14:30 RNS Annual Financial Report
06Mar17 07:00 RNS Directorate Change
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Breakfast Today

  • 16 Mar 17

The big news overnight was not Janet Yellen hiking the US discount rate, but her surprisingly dovish tone and the Dutch electorate's clear rejection of populism. Around midnight the Euro surged over 1.3% against a tumbling US$, as markets digested the Fed Chair's comments and traders took Mark Rutte being returned to office as a sign that Emmanuel Macron can now divisively defeat Maine Le Pen in the French Presidential run-off due on 7th May which, in turn, should convincing narrow the presently wide OAT-Bund spread. But with Treasury yields following the Dollar south, the absence of any increase to the Fed's current guidance of just three US rate moves or possibility of more aggressive policy during 2017, powered stocks upward yesterday evening, with all three principal indices rising convincingly as energy stocks reversed declines of the previous six sessions boosted by a surprise inventory drawdown, as new funds also found their way back into miners on higher commodity prices and tech stocks following positive broker reviews. Investors in Asia similarly sent equities higher following indications of a measured response from the Fed in countering inflation. The Nikkei reversed a 0.6% fall in early trading, turning modestly higher after lunch as the Bank of Japan held its own main policies steady. News that China's Central Bank only raised certain of its key Short-Term Rates was taken particularly positively as both the country's principal indices rose sharply higher, while the ASX was also supported by demand for minerals stocks. U.K. unemployment fell to a four-decade low in the three months through January according to data published yesterday, but wage growth after inflation slowed sharply signalling that Britons are still facing a living standards squeeze despite apparently robust labour markets. Against this, nobody is expecting the Bank of England to make a base rate change today, holding it at 0.25%, nor will it change its existing £435bn asset purchase facility. In fact, traders anticipate Governor Carney's tenor echoing Yellen's dovish, given that he does not wish to stress the financial markets on the eve of Government triggering Article 50. This is likely to mean that recent Sterling weakness will remain, as investors weigh up the possibility that interest rates remain on hold throughout the whole of 2017, despite the fact that Brexit devaluation has already ensured inflation breaches the BoE's 2% target, most likely in Q2, with the possibility it goes on to peak well beyond its guided 2.4% before the year end. This suggests the need to adopt more aggressive policy early in 2018. Meanwhile Philip Hammond's embarrassing climb-down on his proposed higher stamp duty for the self-employed focusses investors not only on the fact that he now has to find a way to plug the £2bn budgetary gap this creates by 2022, but also highlights the fact that Theresa May's Administration is finding support amongst her own MPs flagging just ahead of her preparing to present significant new legislation as she invokes Article 50. Signs that she will face additional Brexit hurdles from her own party as negotiations for the separation get underway can only build upon weakening confidence in Sterling. No other significant macro news is expected from the UK today, although the EU provides February Consumer Prices and the US follows this afternoon with various disclosures, including Housing Starts, Building Permits, Initial Jobless and the Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Survey. UK corporates due to release earnings or trading updates include J Sainsbury (SBRY.L), Balfour Beatty (BBY.L), EMIS Group (EMIS.L) and Onesavings Bank (OSB.L). London equities are seen taking their hint from the US close and a likely strong showing from Europe this morning, with the FTSE-100 seen rising over 35 points in early trade.

Breakfast Today

  • 20 Feb 17

"There is was, gone. Having swallowed Kraft in a 2015 deal engineered by Warren Buffett, Heinz enlivened Friday's otherwise lacklustre trading by putting a US$50/share deal on the table for Unilever (ULVR.L). Most thought the 'merger dance' between the two giant consumer groups had only just begun. Following Unilever's initial rejection, a formal proposal was expected to emerge in less than one month ahead of an improved 'final' offer being made in order to finally arrive at a recommended deal. In the process, this sparked speculative excitement from peers like Reckitt Benckiser (RB..L) and PZ Cussons (PZC.L), prompting traders to asking if this might be the starting gun for a new 2017 wave of M&A, led by US groups enjoying the recent Trump-inspired strength of the US$. Huge potential synergies were eyed from such a merger, that would only need Unilever to lift operating margins half way to Heinz's own for the deal to wash its face on the initial terms while also creating a consumer powerhouse to rival Nestlé. An extended period of regulatory abeyance would, of course, be anticipated as swinging conditions are set by international monopolies authorities and politicians, although a team as experienced as Heinz's would have already second-guessed the likely outcome. So Sunday morning's surprise 'amicable' withdrawal, having concluded that a protracted public battle for control would cause more damage than good, comes as a big surprise, big enough in fact to consider that behind the scenes a deal is still being cooked? This time maybe on a friendly basis, emerging perhaps in a few months with a more generous outcome for Unilever shareholders? Donald Trump's rather bazaar weekend rally in Florida does not appear to have knocked the market's confidence in his determination to deliver on reflationary campaign pledges. Following Wall Street upward but uninspiring close on Friday, the Asian markets were generally mixed, with the Chinese markets leading the gains, as the Nikkei trod water and ASX suffered some modest profit taking in minerals groups and financials. UK Macro data due today includes the Rightmove House Price Index and the CBI Industrial Trends Survey for February, with nothing other than a scheduled speech from the FOMC's Loretta Mester due from the US London equities appeared not particularly concerned by Friday's Retail Sales data, which confirmed UK consumers are starting to feel the Brexit pinch, slipping for the third consecutive month, after hitting a 14-year high in October, leaving them to primarily to reflect on corporates due to report earnings or trading updates including Bovis Homes (BVS.L), Dorcaster (DAR.L), Feedback (FDBK.L), Fishing Republic (FISH.L) and Hammerson (HMSO.L). Overall, however, the UK markets are seen continuing to bask in the reflection of Friday Unilever bid with traders, who appear convinced that there is more to the Unilever story than presently meets the eye, seen pushing the FTSE-100 to a 20 point gain in early trading." - Barry Gibb, Research Analyst

Generic threat endangers, but Oncology looks promising

  • 24 Jan 17

AstraZeneca’s weak performance continued in Q3, reflecting a higher than expected decline in Crestor and Symbicort sales, although the revenue drop was capped at 4% (vs 10% in Q2) to $5.7bn. This reflected a decline in product sales of 14% (vs 5% in Q2) to $5bn, partly offset by high externalisation revenue ($674m vs $134m in Q2; $520m ytd was received from the commercial rights to Aspen’s anaesthetics portfolio). All growth numbers at CER unless specific otherwise. Nine months revenue stood at $17.4bn (-3%). Currency had a neutral impact on sales during the quarter. The decline in the respiratory franchise (-8% vs +1% in Q2) pulled down the other growth platforms (+3% vs Q2: +8%; Q1: +6%; formed 62% of total sales ytd) – Brilinta (+25% vs +51% in Q2), Diabetes (+6% vs +13% in Q2) and Emerging markets (+3% vs +9% in Q2). Of the main drugs, underperformance was led by the rising genericisation of the quadrumvirate – Crestor (-44% vs Q2: -29%; Q1: +2%), Seroquel (-26% vs Q2: -14%; Q1: -21%), Nexium (-21% vs Q2: -13%; Q1: -24%) and Symbicort (-17% vs Q2: -4%; Q1: -7%); altogether resulting in a $1.8bn sales loss yoy – and a low FluMist contribution (-61% vs Q2: -57%; Q1: -29%). Cost containment was again better-than-expected in COGS (-6%) and SG&A (-8%), offset to some extent by high R&D (+4%), leading to a lower decline in reported operating profit (-29% vs -64% in Q2), which stood at $1bn. Core operating profit (which excludes restructuring, amortisation/depreciation/impairment, legal costs, etc.) was down 13% (vs 21% in Q2) to $1.7bn. While debt pertaining to ZS Pharma and Acerta Pharma continued to weigh on earnings, the one-time benefit of $453m following agreements (related to transfer pricing) between the Canadian, the UK and Swedish tax authorities supported the net profit of $1bn (vs net loss in Q2). Full-year guidance of low to mid single-digit declines in both revenue and core EPS was maintained. FX is expected to be neutral on sales, but have a low to mid single-digit benefit on core EPS. Core R&D costs are expected to be ahead of those in 2015, while core SG&A is anticipated to fall. The full-year tax rate is expected to be below the 16-20% range.

Breakfast Today

  • 18 Jan 17

While advanced media notice of key aspects from Theresa May’s speech took the sting out of the event itself, Sterling undertook its biggest rally since 2008 on the basis of her exacting presentation and the fact that UK corporates can now at least plan for a formal exit from the single market. Most commentators thought the PM was demanding both to have her cake and eat it, while injecting veiled threats should the EU decide to adopt a hard line for good measure but, in reality, this has to be her starting point. Considering the two or three months of ground preparation needed following the enacting of Article 50, plus the 4 or 5 months required to gain approval from all the EU’s national parliaments, the remaining 16 to 18 months barely looks enough to get a comprehensive framework in place, particularly given that it will also be subject to approval here by both MPs and Peers. To hope that the process will also have been sufficiently engineered to permit what she wishes to be “a smooth and orderly Brexit”, is possibly asking for too much. So something looks like it will have to give, which is a concern given that pricing data released yesterday morning confirmed December’s UK inflation had accelerated to its fastest pace in more than two years with Sterling’s step decline driving a surge in import cost. Now at 1.6%, CPI is within striking distance of the Bank of England’s 2% target which it believes will be breached early summer. Although Mark Carney is expected permit the economy to ‘run hot’ for the whole of 2017 unless the figure spikes a full percent above his preferred ceiling, UK’s highly indebted economy will likely already be slowing the following year just when it will be knocked further by a series of interest rate hikes. Not the best circumstances to confront the realities of life outside the EU! Having thrown the markets yet another googly, Donald Trump describing the US$ as “too strong” was enough to unnerve the principal US equity indices which all ended in negative territory. Asia also suffered from his apparently haphazard commentary, closing mixed to down as the US$ recovered slightly from its earlier dive to a 1-month low against the international basket, with Chinese equities the only ones confident enough to stay in the positive. While Theresa May heads for Davos in order to convince world leaders she has a winning Brexit strategy, the UK is due to release unemployment data as the also EU publishes its December Consumer Price Index. A batch of US macro releases, such as the Redbook, Consumer Prices, Industrial Production and the NAHB Housing Market Index, can be expected this afternoon. A batch of US macro releases, such as the Redbook, Consumer Prices, Industrial Production and the NAHB Housing Market Index, can also be expected. UK corporates due to provide earnings or trading updates include Anglo Pacific (APF.L), Diploma (DPLM.L), Experian (EXPN.L), Ladbrokes Coral (LCL.L), Pearson (PSON.L), Premier Foods (PFD.L), Watkin Jones (WJG.L) and Weatherspoons (JDW.L). While media comment regarding Rolls-Royce’s involvement in contract bribery will generate some market gossip this morning, traders will also be more focussed on quarterly earnings anticipated from a number of US majors this afternoon. Against this background, London is seen opening gently firmer this morning, with the FTSE-100 rising 15 points or so in early trade.

Breakfast Today

  • 11 Nov 16

"Just when investors though they would be waking up to the mother of all Trump hangovers, the Dow Jones surges to a fresh all-time record. But what's going on in the debt markets? After all, recent successful presidencies can be traced back to stability in US government bonds. Yesterday, the fixed income sell-off that started with Treasuries on Wednesday began to spread across the world as traders reacted to the prospect of a giant US fiscal stimulus, and have even started to ask whether Trump's victory in fact spells the end of their market's extended bull run. For sure, his proposal to hit US corporates with large offshore cash deposits with a one-time 10% charges, irrespective of whether the funds are repatriated or not, would go some way filling the IRS's coffers, even if there can be no certainty whether they would then choose to invest the surplus or simply give it back to shareholders. Indeed, this point was seen to unsettle tech stocks last night, with the NASDAQ quite sharply down while the Dow and S&P-500 remained well supported. Whatever, an unsettled and divided US yearns for clear vision and immediate action on where the economy is going and Trump knows that his credibility will be tested during his first 100 days in office. But even with control of both congressional chambers his far-reaching plans, ranging from tax reform to renegotiating global trade pacts, will still take as much as two years to become law. European leaders appear anxious to use this breathing space in order to consider their own position within a changing world order, as German Finance Minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble made clear in a speech yesterday. Meanwhile, with the Fed's Jeffrey Lacker overnight noted that the case for raising interest rates remains strong, Janet Yellen's scheduled testimony on Capitol Hill will undoubtedly be one of next week's highlights. Asia also put in a more sombre performance earlier today, as counterarguments circulated between brokers regarding the prospect of high import tariffs/international trade war and a reflated global economy, with the US$-biased Hang Seng being the only loser amongst other modestly firmer indices. With just UK construction figures due for release this morning and no major corporates due to report, London's markets are expected to largely tread water today awaiting more news from Washington; the FTSE-100 is seen fluctuating some 5 or so points either side of unchanged in early trading." - Barry Gibb, Research Analyst